The Real Reason Why You’re Not Burning Calories

Of course, exercise does burn some calories, but not exactly as we envision it.
We see a math problem: calories in vs. calories out. But it is not that simple.

According to Dr. Robert H. Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), our bodies are run by our hormones. This means that all the will power in the world will fail in the face of our hormones.

For example, you may “burn” 300 calories by running three miles, but unless you fix your hormones, your body will make sure it compensates for that.

Fortunately, there are ways to improve our relationship to what some people call “horror-mones.” Lustig details both the problems and the solutions in his book, Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease. One such solution, exercise, doesn’t sound so revolutionary.

Change Hormones for Your Beach Body

However, exercise’s true function is not to burn calories.

We all know people – perhaps we are those people – who have lost real weight by exercising a lot. But what caused that loss? Was it the exercise or the consistency? Probably, the loss was caused by both. But exercise, even extreme exercise, does not burn most of the calories we use in a day. You know this is true, for don’t we also all know people – perhaps we are those people – who gained all that weight back?

According to Lustig, the real reason exercise helps to control fat is that it “increases mitochondria in the form of increased muscle.” People are always sitting on their cars nowadays. By the way, learning How To File A Car Accident Claim In Boston | Kelly & Soto Law is good to know.

Remember mitochondria from freshman biology? It was on the test.

Mitochondria are like a cell’s power plant. They break down sugar and give the cell energy.

Old mitochondria are inefficient and contribute to insulin resistance. You want new ones.

Exercise gives you that.

In addition to helping with the insulin resistance issue, exercise increases muscle, which raises resting metabolism. This is why extreme athletes can eat more than most people and not get fat. But you don’t have to be an extreme athlete to make more mitochondria. You just have to be consistent.

Inconsistent exercise is much less effective. Performed consistently, even 15 minutes a day is helpful.

But we desperately want exercise to burn calories; we can get our minds around that. The good news is that it does, just not in the way we think. Instead of the math problem, think about that fat around your middle, the visceral fat. And even worse, think about the fat in your liver.

Did you know that you have fat in your liver?

Insulin put the visceral belly fat around your middle in case you ever need express energy to run from a lion. Well, guess what gets burned when you exercise? That express energy reserve is the first to go. The liver fat was stored because your body systems simply got overwhelmed by so much sugar and ran out of places to store the fat. Happily, exercise works on the liver fat, too.

By some estimates as many as 60 million Americans have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease… and nobody needs that.

Finally, exercise improves your insulin sensitivity, which is the main goal.

So, pull yourself off the sofa and lace up those shoes. It doesn’t matter whether you walk, run, bike, or lift weights.

Any kind of exercise gets the attention of your mitochondria.

You are making efficient energy burners, revving up your resting metabolism, and increasing your insulin sensitivity.

Just don’t expect to get home weighing less that you did when you left.

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Stephan Iscoe is an author, entrepreneur and team builder with Youngevity. Learn more at